Germany election: Juncker reflects on Merkel’s time in office
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Germany’s centre-left party, Social Democrats (SPD), have been led to victory by their leader Olaf Scholz. Despite their win over Angela Merkel’s party, negotiations are expected to take weeks. Here’s why it takes so long to form a coalition government in Germany.
The latest German elections have been among the most fiercely contested year.
Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), has narrowly failed to secure enough seats to stay in power.
The latest count shows SPD has secured 25.7 percent of the vote closely followed by the CDU/CSU bloc with 24.1 percent.
The Green Party has exited third with a 14.8 percent vote share.
These results come after a count of all 299 of Germany’s “constituencies” or electoral districts have been made according to the Federal Returning Officer website.
Why will it take so long to decide the government?
In the UK coalitions are a rarity but in Germany they are commonplace.
Since World War 2 no party in Germany has ever won enough seats to form government by themselves.
This election has proved no different, although SPD may have won the most seats, they haven’t secured enough to form an outright majority.
Negotiations between the SPD and other parties, to form the new government, could take weeks or even months.
After the September 2017 election, it took more than five months for CDU to form a government.
SPD now faces tough negotiations with other parties to enable it to form a coalition.
In these negotiations, they will need to agree on a new Chancellor, their coalition policies and key political appointments among other issues.
The process may take even longer than usual as the results have been so tight this year.
SPD may have to form the country’s first three-way coalition government.
So instead of haggling with just one other party, the coalition settlement will need to please three.
Both The Greens and FDP have signalled they are willing to discuss a three-way alliance to form the 50 percent majority needed.
But SPD could decide to bring a different party into the coalition, such as the far-left group Die Linke.
Whatever the coalition combination turns out to be, it marks a significant shift in German politics from the right under Ms Merkel to the left.
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